At our May Board of Director’s meeting, Richard Bergstrom, President of Bergstrom Automotive, presented the “Unsung Hero” volunteer award to Richard Olson. Mr. Bergstrom told Richard: “thank-you for being a special, caring and giving person who makes a difference”.
Shortly after the doors opened in April, 2009 at the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry, Richard Olson, 53, walked in and told staff that he would simply “like to help people because he feels that it’s important to give back to the community.” Since that day, Richard has become a regular fixture at the pantry volunteering at our checkout desk almost every day – walking 2.5 miles to the pantry from his home on the south side of Oshkosh. Richard feels that the checkout area is “his job” and he greatly appreciates the opportunity to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of those most in need in our community. One of the characteristics that staff and guests enjoy most about Richard is that like the rest of us, Richard knows that he is less than perfect – nonetheless Richard tries hard every day to become a better person and hopefully touch lives in a very positive way. Richard is more than a little bit embarrassed with the notoriety with receiving this volunteer recognition but is thrilled to be able to direct the accompanying grant to the pantry’s “Food 4 Kidz” backpack program which discreetly distributes 255 food filled backpacks to at risk students in the Oshkosh Area School District each Friday.